Check out our FAQs to see if this Fellowship is for you!

Q1 I do not live in one of the target countries. Can I still apply?

For 2024, the second year of the fellowship, we are accepting applications only from residents of any of the EU countries, India, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland Uganda, United Kingdom and USA. Applicants must have a project in, or a project idea intended for, at least one of these countries. In 2025, we will expand to more regions. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about 2024 application dates, and keep developing your sustainability project or idea.

Q2 Do I need to have a planet-positive project or idea in order to apply?

To be considered for a beVisioneers fellowship, you must apply with a planet-positive idea or already have a project in the form of a prototype. While it doesn’t have to be fully-formed, your idea or project should demonstrate a solid understanding of the environmental challenge you want to tackle. The idea or prototype of a planet-positive project refers to a specific product, service, campaign, or program designed with the primary objective of making a positive impact on the planet and its ecosystems. 

These projects must prioritize environmental stewardship which involves protecting natural ecosystems and all life on Earth, while simultaneously improving the well-being of your local community in a measurable way. The key distinguishing factor is their dedication not only to avoiding harm to the environment but also actively contributing to its improvement.

To help us assess its feasibility, try to define the scope and goals of your project or idea as well as your plan for implementing it. During the fellowship journey, your project may change or evolve as you learn new things, and that’s to be expected. Your passion and determination, together with the ongoing support of the beVisioneers community, will help you make it stronger and improve its chances of success.

Q3 What do you mean by "planet-positive"?

beVisioneers has defined the following key areas of intervention for planet-positive projects:

  1. Circularity (Responsible Consumption & Production): This involves designing products, materials, and systems to minimize waste, promote resource efficiency, and encourage practices of reuse, recycling, and responsible consumption and production.
  2. Decarbonization: This entails reducing or eliminating CO2 emissions to mitigate climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.
  3. Education & Behavioral Change: This focuses on raising awareness and promoting changes in individual and collective behavior through educational programs, campaigns, and initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable and environmentally responsible actions.
  4. Governance, Incentives & Capacity Building: This involves improving governance structures, creating incentives, and building the capacity of organizations and communities to implement and sustain planet-positive practices and policies.
  5. Indigenous Knowledge, Research, & Data Exchange: This recognizes and values the knowledge and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in environmental stewardship. Additionally, it promotes research and data exchange that not only incorporates indigenous perspectives and practices but also promotes mutually enriching, equitable, and respectful innovation.
  6. Sustainable Food Systems (Sustainable Food Systems, Food Security, and Healthy Nutrition): This is focused on creating food systems, including production, processing, transport, and consumption, that is environmentally sustainable, provide food security in terms of access and quantity of affordable nutritious food, and promote healthy nutrition.
  7. Ecosystems & Global Environmental Commons: This involves the management and preservation of natural resources that provide shared benefits and are of universal importance for all life on Earth, yet exist beyond specific jurisdictions, such as the atmosphere, oceans, and biodiversity.
  8. Regenerative Tourism: This promotes tourism that positively contributes to the well-being of local communities and the environment, emphasizing sustainable and regenerative practices over mass tourism.
  9. Affordable & Clean Energy: This aims to make clean and renewable energy sources, such as hydrokinetic, solar, and wind power, accessible and affordable to a wide range of individuals and communities, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
  10. Water Management: This focuses on the responsible stewardship of water resources, including conservation, pollution prevention, equitable access, and sustainable use of freshwater.
  11. Sustainable Transport & Mobility: This involves developing and promoting transportation systems that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and support sustainable mobility options such as public transit and alternative fuel transportation.
  12. Waste Management: This encompasses efficient and environmentally responsible management of waste materials, including waste reduction, recycling, and proper disposal.

Q4 What do you mean by "an idea"?

A project in the “idea stage” primarily focuses on creating, refining, and evaluating a proposed idea or concept intended to address a specific and defined environmental challenge. During this initial phase, the project has not yet solidified its plan, specific goals, or allocated resources. In the idea stage, a project encompasses the following elements:

  1. One or more conceptual project solutions or initiatives aimed at addressing a particular need, problem, or opportunity.
  2. Assessment of the project’s relevance (potential and practicality) involves providing insights into how the offering addresses the problems, desires, or challenges of the intended audience and partners, thus making it suitable and appealing to potential users. This can also be accomplished by exploring comparable solutions or pioneering initiatives in the field (state of the art) to gauge the potential success of your project.
  3. Identification of potential key stakeholders/partners who may have an interest in or be affected by the idea, including the community, users, or organizations that can support project implementation.
  4. Development of a basic outline or vision for how the project could potentially be executed, including overarching goals and potential key milestones.
  5. Identification of potential risks and challenges associated with the idea, accompanied by the formulation of broad strategies to manage or mitigate these risks.

Q5 What do you mean by "prototype"?

A project in the “prototype phase” represents a developmental stage primarily focused on crafting a practical model or prototype for a solution. This solution may encompass a product, service, campaign, or program all rooted in a validated concept. In this phase, the applicant has the opportunity to evaluate and verify the project’s relevance, and its impact on users, stakeholders, and partners as well as mitigate potential risks. A project in this phase encompasses the following activities: 

  1. Development of one or more physical or digital prototypes that mirror the core functionality and design of the final solution. These prototypes serve as tangible or functional representations for the purposes of testing and validation.
  2. The design of a structured testing experience to validate the key features conveyed through the prototype. This phase often entails the collection of feedback from users, stakeholders, and experts.
  3. The willingness to iteratively enhance and refine the prototype (or even your original idea) based on feedback and testing results. This may involve making design modifications, improving functionality, or adjusting to meet performance criteria.
  4. Initial assessment of costs associated with producing the final product or solution based on the prototype’s design and specifications.

The identification of any potential risks or challenges that may arise during the transition from the prototype phase to production or implementation.

Q6 Can I apply with my project team?

Fellows are selected on an individual basis. For this reason, every member of a project team who wishes to participate must apply individually, and the acceptance of one team member does not guarantee the acceptance of others. The fellowship experience is designed to help you grow personally as a leader, and significant emphasis is placed on individual development and reflection. We therefore recommend that project founders or leaders apply.

Q7 What are the program highlights?

beVisioneers is a 12-month hybrid intensive with a blend of weekly on-demand and live classes where fellows build knowledge and learn by DOing around 3 labs:

  • Personal Sustainability Lab
  • Project Sustainability Lab
  • Environmental Sustainability Lab

Key elements of the program include:

  • Weekly online live sessions
  • On-demand content (e.g. a content library micro-videos, downloadable toolkits & templates)
  • Mentoring
  • Masterclasses & co-working missions
  • Peer coaching
  • Access to experts in relevant fields
  • Access to earned project funding and needs-based access to a financial stipend
  • In-person gatherings: annual Regional Summits, quarterly local chapter meetups, annual Global Summit as “earned” opportunity

Q8 Are there any costs involved?

There are no costs to individual fellows. Participation in the program is fully funded by a donation from Mercedes-Benz. All Fellows benefit, free of charge, from the beVisioneers training curriculum and from access to the beVisioneers online community. All expenses associated with travel to summits are covered.

Q9 Can I get funding for my project?

beVisioneers begins with a 12-month hybrid intensive program, a blend of weekly on-demand and live classes in which fellows build knowledge and learn by DOing. The program is structured around three labs. Grants will be awarded to the projects that demonstrate the highest potential for environmental impact. Whether or not you receive a grant, you will learn the DO Method for taking your idea from project phase to launch and beyond.

Q10 Is financial support available?

beVisioneers is committed to ensuring an accessible and financially inclusive fellowship experience. Active engagement in the fellowship program requires reliable and consistent access to a computer and the internet, as well as sufficient time for learning and project development. For this reason, beVisioneers offers financial support to help fellows with specific needs overcome logistical and/or financial barriers that may prevent their full participation. Financial support is available only for the initial, 12-month intensive learning program, and every candidate invited for a fellowship interview is welcome to apply for this financial support on a needs-blind basis.

Q11 Where does the program take place?

The fellowship is a hybrid experience, with most content and training over the initial 12-month learning period delivered in live online sessions and through access to on-demand content. During this period, fellows also attend quarterly local meet-ups (in person whenever possible) and a regional in-person summit. Based on their engagement and project achievements over the fellowship period, fellows may also be invited to participate in an in-person global summit.

Q12 What are the selection criteria?

Eligible fellows:

  • are between the ages of 16 and 28 at the time of applying
  • reside inany of the EU countries, India, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland Uganda, United Kingdom and USA
  • show a strong dedication to positive environmental change
  • demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit, including persistence, resilience and determination
  • show leadership in their communities
  • have an early-stage project or project idea for positive environmental impact in one or more of the target countries
  • may not work for, or have a parent or guardian who works for, Mercedes-Benz

Q13 Who owns the rights to possible inventions or products designed by fellows?

Fellows retain the exclusive rights to all intellectual property brought to and/or developed as part of the beVisioneers program.

Q14 How do I apply?

beVisioneers applications will open on October 4 for our 2024 – 2025 cohort. The application process consists of questions on topics such as your project or project idea, its impact, and your dedication to creating environmental change. The application should take about one hour to complete. You can save your application at any time and come back to it at a later point. Please note that you will need to upload an official proof of identity and record a motivation video of 90 seconds or less.

Q15 What is the timeline?

The key upcoming deadlines and time periods for beVisioneers are:

Application period: October 4 – January 15 2024
Selection period: March – May, 2024
Launch of the fellowship’s 12-month intensive program, year one: June, 2024.

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